:: What's New in the World ::
"I hate you."
In The Off Hours
Books :: None currently...
TV :: Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, The 4400, Entourage
Anime :: Naruto, Bleach, Gundam SEED Destiny, Sousei no Aquarion
Music :: DHT - Listen to Your Heart
• Annoying Event Staff
• No More Work
• Night Pictures
• Winning at Poker
• No income
• Expensive gear
• Integrating flash and DBs
• Driving long distances
:: Friday, March 28, 2003 ::
Here Comes the Weekend…
:: Tuesday, March 25, 2003 ::
TGIF everyone! Well it’s finally Friday and the weekend couldn’t have come any later. Nela, Mat, Steamin’ Steve and Event Staff are down visit so you know that means we gotta go out and party this weekend. It’s also Polo and Ervin’s birthday, and everyone knows how I like to drink on birthdays. But I promise to make at least a half ass attempt to restrain my drinking and pray sincerely that there will be no drunken episodes on my part. Maybe I’m aiming just a tad high but you know what they say, you never know until you try. Then again, some things just don’t change. See you on Monday.
:: posted by Z [2:38 PM]
:: Friday, March 21, 2003 ::
I stayed up too late the other night and was utterly exhausted after work. So when I got home I told myself I would sleep early, but when I tried, despite my state of fatigue I was assaulted by a case of insomnia. And man do I hate insomnia. Why am I curse to suffer so? I spent 3 hours tossing and turning, tired beyond belief, with no sleep in sight until I finally passed out around 3 or 3:30. I awoke this morning feeling even more exhausted than the previous day. *sigh* It’s just not my week so far. Oh well. Now I’m left wondering if I have enough energy to make it to the gym tonight. I sincerely hope sleep is more forthcoming tonight. I need it badly.
:: posted by Z [12:45 PM]
A Word on the War...
Lately I’ve been involved in a number of war discussions/debates for obvious reasons. For me the topics revolve primarily around America’s true motives for invading Iraq and our Command and Chief’s current warmongering. While I’ve heard the official reasoning behind Operation Iraqi Freedom, a name which I find both hypocritical and at the same time utterly ridiculous, I have a hard time believing America has committed 300,000 troops and a dozen surface vessels as well as a number of submarines all to remove Saddam Hussein from power and free his people from his tyranny, all under the pretense that he has violated UN resolutions, a crime which Israel has been guilty of for years. Any why should Israel obey international law when the US flouts it whenever we please? While I can only reasonably guess at what the true reasons for this new war are, I know I won’t be spoon fed “facts” by an obviously biased media that at times seem more determined to spread propaganda than actual facts. Luckily we live in an age where information that is gathered around the world is more readily accessible to those who seek an alternative source than the American corporate-controlled media. Of course my dissenting ideas are immediately labeled as “conspiracy theories,” the pro-government catch all that automatically discredits anything contradictory to current government doctrine despite any basis it might have in fact. Because we all know conspiracies don’t exist, right? And our government never traffics disinformation to its own citizens.
The bottom line in my view is this, America wars for American interests and those interests have always been and always will be dominated by money. Our government has long ago ceased to be a government for the people but instead only a government for those who are in a position to afford it. It is no secret that big business dominates American politics, so why is it such a stretch of the imagination to see that big business interests dominate American foreign policy as well. Can people truly believe our government is as altruistic as it portrays itself? Keep in mind this is the same government that had to be fought tooth and nail for ever civil liberty minorities and women currently hold and in recent days has shredded the Bill of Rights to a point almost beyond recognition. Saddam Hussein’s atrocities against humanity have been occurring for more than a decade, back before the invasion of Kuwait and the UN backed coalition of the Gulf War. In fact he was formerly an ally to the US, though it seems we’re not supposed to mention or even remember that small tidbit. It has been conveniently if not erased than surely blurred from the annals of history. Where was American altruism as we were selling him weapons to fight his war with Iran who we saw as the greater of two evils and his own people? Saddam’s tyrannical and anti-humanitarian ways didn’t seem to bother us then. But times have changed I’m told. American foreign policy has changed. Mistakes were made, people concede albeit quietly, but they have been resolved and we are on the high road of the righteous now. But have things truly changed?
The US backed Saddam’s regime in Iraq in the 80s for obvious reasons, we needed an Arab nation sympathetic to American interests and of course the 10% of the world’s oil reserves that lie buried beneath the sands of Iraq played no small part in our motivation I’m sure. In December 1997 representatives from the Taliban, remember these guys, met in Sugarland, Texas at the headquarters of Union Oil of California, better known as Unocal. Their reason for journeying to the Lone Star state? To discuss the construction of a pipeline that would give the US access to rich oil fields of Eurasia. At this time the Taliban were already notorious for their crimes against humanity. And once again America foreign policy turned a blind eye to human suffering and tyranny when confronted with the billions to be made from a pipeline running from Turkmenistan via Afghanistan to Pakistan. By 1999 however, it became obvious that the Taliban would never be a stable enough government to protect our precious pipelines and America began considering some military action against Afghanistan, and all this coming pre-9/11. Ever wonder how we were able to launch military operations against Afghanistan so quickly and efficiently? It was almost as if the plans were already in place. Now if the Taliban had intelligence of this possible American military threat beforehand, a strike against the US could be seen as preemptive. In fact, the Taliban and Osama received word of the possible military action two months prior to 9/11, but we’re not supposed to talk about any of this either. The truth however around the attacks still remains largely a mystery due primarily to impediments from the executive to any serious investigation. Actually this seems to be the beginning of a trend. If I were a Eurasian nation, I’d consider carefully before become allied and embroiled in American economic interests and foreign policy, which appear in truth to actually be the same thing, because it appears we go to war with all our former allies once they become inconvenient or unnecessary.
So back to the original question, why are we in Iraq? Well it’s obviously for financial reasons, but what could those possibly be? Could it be that during the post-Gulf War period, French, Russian and Chinese corporations were able to come into Iraq and develop new oil fields containing billions of barrels of oil, but US corporations due to US law and restrictions put in place after the conflict ended missed out on this oil rush? If a US backed government was established, Iraq would suddenly open up all those untapped oil fields to US corporations. Or perhaps it’s the fact that there are those in the Bush administration that have stated that Iraqi oil will ultimately used to pay for the Iraqi occupation if not also to offset the cost of the Iraqi invasion, going so far as to call them “spoils of war.” Or could it be increasing Iraqi production of oil would help break America’s dependency on Saudi Arabian oil, currently the largest producer of crude oil in the world. Who knows, but I do know there are no end to the financial benefits of this war, at least to Americans, well the top 1% anyway.
:: posted by Z [11:23 AM]
“Of all the enemies to public liberty, war is, perhaps the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. As the parent of armies, war encourages debts and taxes, the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the executive is extended…and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people…”
:: Tuesday, March 18, 2003 ::
-James Madison, 4th President of the United States of America
Make no mistake about it, we are at war now, but it’s not only the one in Iraq or on Terror, but also the one in the streets, lives and minds of America.
:: posted by Z [1:41 AM]
Rubber in the Rain…
:: Tuesday, March 11, 2003 ::
Well my first Club Rubber event was a bit of a let down to be honest, but that probably had more to do with the rain than any deficiency of the event itself. I guess people just don’t like venturing out into the night when water is falling from the sky. Club attire isn’t typically the warmest of clothes and once wet is almost entirely worthless. We got there around 10 and 4th and B was empty. It didn’t start getting lively until around 11:30. This isn’t to say the night was without its memorable moments, far from it though the scenery left something to be desired. We all got free lighters courtesy of Marlboro. Half of us dropped. The other half drank. I unfortunately could not get a buzz going, just one of those nights I guess. Josh acted like he was rolling but wasn’t. Richard lost his wallet but found it. Tim lost his phone but didn’t. Vu pre-drank, pre-smoked out, and then drank continuously the whole night. He was stumbling around and dragging his head against the wall as he walked at times. Hehe. At the end of the night he bumped into a safety cone in the street while walking and took it with him to El Coti’s where he proceeded to use it as a megaphone. He gets the award for the most tow up fool that night. The next day it was a revamp of an old Sunday post-clubbing ritual, the pho session at Pho Hoa Cali. And I even managed to set a new record, 3 hours! I don’t think we’ll be beating that one any time soon.
:: posted by Z [10:21 AM]
:: Monday, March 10, 2003 ::
While I was sprawled out on the white sand beaches or rolling slowly by the dense jungle countryside of Thailand I had the opportunity to relax, read and occassionally write. This is something I wrote while I was in Koh Samui. Ted was writing lyrics for songs and I thought I'd give it a try as well. But in the end it turned into more a poem and less a song. Note: It's about an idea and not written about anyone in particular.
-The Last Goodbye-
I awoke each morning to the your face, the sun of my dawn
But there was no sunrise today, I reached out to find you gone
Each hour has become utterly indistinguishable from midnight
My world now draped in black by the absence of your light
Your love was a gift I both cherished and wholly took for granted
Cold and alone in the darkness, I lack the inner strength to stand it
Can I survive with only the ghost of someone who is gone?
Can I dance forever to only the remembrance of a song?
Slowly the memory of who you were begins to fade inside of me
Will the cruel fates have even the image of your face denied to me?
I grip tightly, as if my fingers held me dangling from a ledge
But time implacable wrenches you free from the vaults within head
It is all lost to me now: your touch, your laugh, your eyes
And I know in my heart that this, this is the last goodbye
:: posted by Z [10:19 AM]
A Night at 9098...
:: Saturday, March 08, 2003 ::
Well it was a pretty typical night of clubbing for the crew up in LA. What do I mean by typical you ask? Downing shots of drinks with 151 in them. People dancing. People blacking out. People yacking. People macking. People losing stuff (this unfortunately was me). The music was ok and the drinks were expensive but hey, at least we got in free right? Not a bad night all things considered. And it was not without its entertaining moments. Getting home at 6am wasn't that great but luckily I slept in till 2pm. Tee hee. Caught lunch with Richard and Josh to fill in those pesky "gaps" in the night that always accompany any large amount of drinking. I didn't take that many pictures but the few I took will be up in a day or two. Now the question is to Rubber or not to Rubber?
:: posted by Z [1:26 PM]
A Brief Recap...
:: Sunday, March 02, 2003 ::
Well I know its a few days late in coming but if you can excuse my human frailty; I was recovering from a case of food poisoning I contracted from some tainted beef I ate on board a JAL flight from Bangkok to Tokyo. But put your minds at ease because I’m fully recovered now and ready to start the enormity that is the task of updating my site for the last several weeks. In addition to the 250 or so pictures from my trip, I also have a number of pics from events previous to that as well as the huge task of writing the recap for the whole affair. So find a comfortable seat and a snack or two because it’s going to be quite a long ride, though I’ll try to make it one that proceeds as smoothly as possible.
Before I begin, I’d like to divulge a small personal fact about myself, I have an extremely difficult time sleeping on planes. So the 12 hour flight from LA to Tokyo was especially long to me. Luckily they were playing non-stop movies and pouring non-stop drinks (God bless Thai Airlines and free alcohol). I’ve found a little buzz goes a long way in smoothing out the nerves. So when I landed at Narita International, I’d been up for almost 24 hours and still had another hour and half to go by bus to Ted’s neighborhood. After I met up with Ted, you would think we would go straight back to his place so I could sleep but no, we went out to eat sukiyaki and drink with Ted’s friends Christina, Yori and another girl whose name, I’m sorry to say, escapes me at this moment, but it was 3 weeks ago after all and a lot has happen since then. Actually Ted and I ended up drinking at 3 different places that night, including one bar in Shibuya with a distinctly Arabian theme, very odd to say the least. They were playing songs from Disney’s Aladdin I kid you not. Anyway, everyone asks me “How’s Ted?” and my general response “Ted is Ted, in any country.” For those who don’t know it goes something like this - go to school, eat, drink alcohol, dance, repeat. Eventually we get back to his tiny apartment, which he assures me is quite large and spacious for Japan, and I pass out.
We wake up a few short hours later and I have to prepare for, you guessed it, another long ass plane ride on which sleep will no doubt be once again hard to find. It turns out there’s a “slight hydraulic leak in the tail fin” of our plane, at least that’s what the captain told us, and we end up sitting on the run way for 2 hours with no air conditioning while maintenance crews attempt to repair the problem. Not the most auspicious way of embarking on our journey to Thailand I admit, but it could have been much worse. They could have found the leak in flight. Yikes! So 8 hours later we find ourselves in Bangkok at around 3am and without a single solitary clue of where to go. The first thing anyone notices of course is the heat. To go from Tokyo where the temperature was hovering around 30 something degrees to Bangkok where it’s in the mid 80s at night was unpleasant to say the least. Admittedly, after a while you do get use to the heat but initially it’s just stifling.
From the time I landed to the time I left, so much happened it would be almost impossible to summarize it all here without this post going on forever. So this part will be relatively brief. The full story with details as always will be available in person, which is how most good stories should be told anyway and if possible over a drink or two. But first a quick rundown of all the places we went which corresponds with the new picture collections I just put up yesterday: Bangkok, Surathani, Koh Samui, Koh Phanang, Phuket, Phi Phi Islands, Krabi, Pattaya and back to Bangkok. If you think that’s a lot of places to go and see in 12 days, you’re right. We spent a good portion of our time traveling by bus, train, minivan, and boat. Luckily Thailand is structured for tourism and there’s literally a travel agent on every corner.
Once we got back to Japan, things become much more manageable because I only had 4 days left, two of which we spent clubbing. The first place we hit up was on Friday night; Club Harlem in Tokyo, a place Chester and Co. tried to get into during their short stay in Japan last year but were denied access because they didn’t have a local girl. Luckily, thanks to Ted, we had no such deficiencies. Honestly I was surprised at the level of hiphop music they have over in Japan. The mixing was better than most clubs that we frequent over in the states. The next club we hit up was Garden, the club Ted took Chester to the last time he was in Japan for business. Now the music isn’t what I would call ideal being mainly 80s, euro and trance but after a few drinks, all things tend to look better. In Japan the clubs stay open till 6am and the trains don’t even start running again till around 5 so everyone is partying until the wee hours of the morning. Of course this makes recovering especially hard but I guess it’s no different than getting back from LA at 7 or 8. The day after Garden, I got on a plane and flew home though my flight was delayed 2 hours. I'll post more stories later but I think I'm going to stop before this post runs even longer than it currently is.
:: posted by Z [10:15 AM]
Just wanted to let everyone know I made back safe and sound. Japan and Thailand were off the hook but unfortunately I've been up for 30+ hours and the sleep before that was only 3 hours of very bad sleep after two full nights of clubbing till 6am, so I shall have to postpone the stories until I am more recovered. But have no fear, pictures and recaps coming soon! Now... a shower and then to bed.
:: posted by Z [6:43 PM]